Court says no new dentures for Texas inmate

June 11, 2012 7:31:00 AM PDT
A Texas inmate has lost an appeal of his lawsuit claiming Texas prison officials violated his civil rights for denying him prison-supplied dentures.

Herbert Hay argued he previously obtained dentures while serving time from 1976 to 2003 for a murder conviction but was turned down for new teeth after he returned in 2007 for conviction of indecency with a child in Harris County. His suit contended prison officials were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a ruling Friday, agreed with a lower court that the prison system properly followed procedures and provided the 65-year-old Hay sufficient care. Hay is at the Ellis Unit near Huntsville.

Court records show Texas prison policies in 2003 changed to more severely restrict issuing dentures to inmates.